Courtesy : NDTV
(Note : Remember Willam Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice? The famous quote of SHYLOCK: "A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel! O wise young judge, how I do honour thee!".
This phrase doubtless alludes to the Biblical character Daniel, who was attributed with having fine powers of judgement. In Daniel 5:14 (King James' Version) we have:
"I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee."
Like Shylock, Mrs V.S. Sasikala or her counsel at the Supreme Court of India, out of exuberance and sheer over-confidence, must have uttered the same phrase as Shylock did. But the Supreme Court of India once again proved that it is the only institution (of the Judiciary) which has been upholding justice. And again it refused to cave in to the constant bombardment of expletives by Chinnamma and her supporters, particularly on the TN Governor, to gatecrash her way into being sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. But much to her dismay and that of her supporters, the Supreme Court put a spanner to her plans and sentenced her to four years' jail term and banned her from contesting elections for ten years. It is a stern reminder to those who hanker for power, that in today's world of increasing transparency, trying to bulldoze one's way to the seat of power, may not always pay off, says CCV's Isaac Gomes).
CHENNAI: VK Sasikala will go to jail for four years, the Supreme Court said today, holding the AIADMK chief guilty of corruption. Ms Sasikala will have to surrender immediately. This puts an end to her bid to be Tamil Nadu's next chief minister – she cannot hold public office or contest elections for 10 years, the period of her jail term plus six years after that. Ms Sasikala was charged with helping former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa amass illicit wealth worth over 60 crores in the 1990s. Supreme Court judges, Justices Pinaki Chandra Ghosh and Amitava Roy, gave a concurrent judgment today overturning a High Court order that had acquitted Ms Sasikala. She and two others convicted in the case today have also been fined 10 crore each.
Here are the 10 latest developments of this big story:
1. The court said it was restoring "in full" a trial court order that had convicted Ms Sasikala and sentenced her to four years in prison. She had served 27 days in jail before she was granted bail. The judges said the case against Ms Jayalalithaa, who had also been convicted by the trial court, "is abated," since she has died.
There are victory celebrations at the Chennai home of interim Chief Minister O Panneerelvam, who took charge of the state after Ms Jayalalithaa died in December, and had challenged Ms Sasikala's claim to the chief minister's post.
Ms Sasikala, 61, is still at the five-star Golden Bay Resort in Mahabalipuram, 80 km from Chennai, where she spent last night along with about 120 legislators who she had sequestered for almost a week to prevent them from being poached by the Panneerselvam camp.
"In the past whenever Amma was in crisis, I also suffered. This time also I will take it upon me.'Dharma' will win," the AIADMK tweeted soon after the Supreme Court verdict.
The party, which had elected Ms Sasikala last week as its leader in the assembly last week, will now have to elect a new leader. Mr Panneerselvam had resigned last week to facilitate Ms Sasikala's takeover.
The legislators can pick Mr Panneerselvam – who rebelled against Ms Sasikala two days after he proposed her name for chief minister – or any other party leader, possibly one nominated by Ms Sasikala.
Constitutional experts said the Governor should immediately convene a meeting of the state assembly and ask all the 234 lawmakers to indicate who they support to be the next chief minister.
Both Ms Sasikala and Mr Panneerselvam, 66, met Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao last week and presented their claim to take a trust vote ahead of the other. He was reportedly waiting for the Supreme Court verdict in the corruption case.
As they waited for the Governor's decision, a majority of the AIADMK's legislators continued to support Ms Sasikala, about nine had switched camp, two since last night, and many more could do so after today's verdict. An MLA said from the Mahabalipuram resort that while he has taken a "neutral position" he would prefer Mr Panneerselvam back as chief minister.
- A trial court in Bangalore had convicted Ms Jayalalithaa and Ms Sasikala and sentenced them each to four years in jail. Both spent some time at the Bengaluru jail before the Karnataka High Court overturned the trial court order and acquitted them. The Karnataka government had appealed against the acquittal and the top court had reserved verdict in June last year.